I figured out the main difference between my husband and myself. I am a go-in-a- straight-line-or-as-close-as-possible-even-if-I-have-to-keep-stopping person, and he is a go-the-opposite-direction-if-it-looks-better-even-if-it-takes-longer person.
I don’t know if I started out this way, but I have definitely refined the ability to measure any situation and find the most direct route through it or to it. It bothers me to meander. I don’t mean it is just slightly annoying. I mean that I get a rising sense of panic as we wander farther and farther from our direct path. I have to remind myself that it would not be socially or matrimonially acceptable for me to start yelling that we need to turn around and follow the route that I have mentally mapped. Ironically, I don’t actually have a sense of direction, yet my whole body screams if it even suspects I might be headed the wrong way.
When I say, “Honey, are you sure want to go this way?” that isn’t what I really mean.
My husband, however, would much rather take the scenic route. If there are less billboards, semis, and lanes on the road, he’s there. Time is never a factor.
I’m not just talking about driving. Apparently these philosophies metaphorically extend themselves to the other aspects of our lives. Whenever we need to make a major decision about a purchase, for example, I mentally identify the key factors involved, research them, and make a decision. My husband, however, thinks of details that have never occurred to me, and thoroughly weighs them, often for an agonizingly long time.
Case in point – our recent refrigerator purchase. I researched reviews of how noisy, economical, and spacious each one might be. Armed with my computer printouts and my iPad (just in case I needed to do research on the fly), I led my husband to the floor model I had chosen. The Yin to my Yang took one look at the door handles of the “perfect one”, and reflected doubtfully on how well they matched those of our other recently acquired appliance, the ice maker. “Matching door handles” not being one of the categories I could actually research on Consumer Reports, you see.
We got a different refrigerator.
Despite my frustration at moments like this, I have to admit that this personality mismatch seems to work. Sometimes, I bluster my way through things much too quickly. And sometimes, he gets distracted by minor details for much too long.
But, most of the time, I help him to focus on what’s important – our final goal. And he helps me to remember to live in the moment.
Now I can look upon our new refrigerator and be grateful that it doesn’t clash with the ice maker. Thank God he saved me from that disaster.